By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA
Buying in bulk these days? Keep your produce lasting longer with these simple tips! Remember to prevent food waste by checking on your produce daily; you can cook and freeze many veggies or freeze fruits like berries for smoothies and cereal.
- Bananas: Keep on the counter or banana hanger. Do not store in the refrigerator unless it’s been cut in half. Once they’ve reached the “over ripe” stage, peel and store in the freezer.
- Apples: One bad apple spoiled the bunch? This phrase comes from the fact that Apples produce ethylene gas which accelerates the ripening process. Store away from other produce. They can be stored on the counter for up to a week or in the fridge for more than a week.
- Avocados: Once ripe store in the refrigerator. If avocado is cut in half, squeeze flesh with lemon juice and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
- Berries: Do not wash any berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries) before ready to eat. The delicate skin will start breaking down once washed. Store in the refrigerator, covered and dry.
- Citrus fruit: Store oranges, lemons, limes and clementine’s in your crisper drawer.
- Tomatoes: Never refrigerate as this will cause them to rot faster. Store at room temperature or on your counter away from sun.
- Lettuce: Store dry lettuce leaves in a plastic bag or bowl with a paper towel on top, then seal with plastic wrap. Replace the towel when it becomes damp to keep the leaves dry.
- Celery & Carrots: Keep them moist by storing with water. You can place them in a container filled with water or wrap in a wet paper towel and store in a plastic bag to retain moisture.
- Potatoes: Do not refrigerate or freeze fresh potatoes before cooking. Store potatoes in a cool, dark, well ventilated place, avoiding high temperatures such as below sinks or next to appliances. Be sure air can reach your potatoes. Either store loose or in plastic or paper bags with holes.
- Onions & Garlic: Store in a cool, dark and dry space just like potatoes. However, keep separate from other foods because of their strong odors.
- Broccoli & Cauliflower: Broccoli and cauliflower are best kept in separate refrigerator drawers away from other produce.
- Eggplant, Cucumber & Peppers: Store at room temperature. If becoming to ripe, store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Leafy green vegetables: Greens like collards, chard, kale, and spinach should be stored in the refrigerator. Keep leaves dry by storing with a paper towel.
- Mushrooms: Keep them dry and unwashed in the refrigerator; increased moisture will make them slimy.
Eat Well Tip: To freeze cooked vegetables, place them on a cookie sheet in a single layer in the freezer. Once firm, transfer them to a freezer bag or other freezer safe container. Follow same procedure for fruits. Be sure fruits are washed and thoroughly dry before freezing.
- American Heart Association
- Goodness Unearthed